Permaculture A (Introduction) Online Course

Permaculture A (Introduction) Online Course

Duration 100 hrs (12 months)
Exam Optional
Tutor Support Yes unlimited by email
Qualification Certificate

An Introduction to Permaculture.

Course Aims:

  • Discuss the nature and scope of Permaculture.
  • Apply an understanding of environmental systems to considerations given to how a Permaculture system is designed.
  • Describe soils and the impact their characteristics have upon natural and man made environments.
  • Explain the application of this knowledge to Permaculture.
  • Describe characteristics of climate and water, and the impact their characteristics have upon natural and man made environments.
  • Explain the application of this knowledge to Permaculture.
  • Describe forest systems and their relevance to Permaculture design.


Detailed Course Outline

This course is made up a number of lessons or units.  Each of these has self assessment questions, a set task (practical homework) and an assignment which you can upload online.  Click below to read about each of the lessons and what you will learn.

There are 5 lessons in this course:

Permaculture Concepts

  • Life Ethics
  • Permaculture Defined
  • Guiding Principles -relatve location, multiple functions and elements, elevational planning, energy recycling, etc.
  • Ideas and Techniques from around the world
  • Natural Gardening
  • Organic growing
  • No dig gardening
  • Crop rotation
  • Biological control of pest and disease
  • Integrated pest management
  • Living things vary from place to place
  • Understanding plant names
  • An easier way to identify plants
  • Pronunciation of plant names

Understanding the Environment is Key to Permaculture Design

  • Introduction
  • Ecology
  • Ecosystems
  • Abiotic Components
  • Biotic Components
  • Ecological concepts
  • The Web of Life
  • Replicating Nature
  • Successions
  • Starting a Permaculture Property
  • Cost, Location, Size
  • Information required
  • Structure of a Permaculture System
  • Choosing a Site
  • Permaculture Design

Soils in Permaculture

  • The Role of Soil
  • Soil Components -gravel sand, silt, colloids
  • Peds
  • Naming a Soil
  • Soil Management
  • Cycles
  • Fertilizer Application
  • Nitrogen
  • Factors Affecting Nitrogen Release from Organic Sources
  • Microorganism population
  • Heat and chemical treatment
  • pH
  • Soil temperature
  • Cultivation and Cover Crops
  • Drainage and Erosion
  • How to Measure Soil pH
  • How to Measure Organic Content of Soil
  • How to Measure Water Content of Soil
  • Determining Solubility of Soils
  • How to Test the Affect of Lime on Soil
  • Taking Soil Samples for Laboratory Tests
  • Measuring Salinity
  • Colourimetry

Climate and Water in Permaculture

  • Site Types
  • Degree Days
  • The Hydrological Cycle
  • Infiltration
  • Rainfall
  • Evapouration
  • Effective Rainfall
  • Temperature
  • Frosts
  • Extreme Hazards
  • Permaculture Microclimates
  • The Greenhouse Effect
  • Water and Plant Growth
  • Climatic Influence on Production
  • Frosts
  • Climate Considerations for Fruit and Vegetable Production
  • Climatic Zones
  • Humans and Water
  • Minimising Plant Requirements
  • Household Water
  • Xeriscaping
  • Interpreting Weather Reports and Predictions
  • Precipitation
  • Wind
  • Weather Maps
  • Weather Map Patterns
  • Interrelationships between Climate, Soil and Plants
  • Estimating Water Requirements of Plants
  • Ways to Improve Water Quality, from any Source
  • Water Impurities – sediment, impurities, colour, chemical impurities
  • Water Hardness
  • Alkalinity
  • Corrosion
  • pH
  • Iron
  • Salinity
  • Tastes and Odours in Water
  • Biological Impurities in Water -algae, bacteria
  • Other Water Chemistry Factors -dissolved gasses, nitrogen cycle
  • Fish for Ponds
  • Other Animals in Water

Forest Systems

  • Biomass
  • Components of Biomass
  • Plant Associations
  • Pinus Monoculture
  • Eucalyptus Association
  • Deciduous Forest
  • Alpine Communities
  • Myrtaceae Plants
  • Australian Legumes
  • Rockeries
  • Rain forest Systems
  • Wind, Light and Rain in Forests
  • Forest Productivity – fuel, food, forage, shelter belt, structural, conservation
  • Establishment of a Forest
  • Creating a Rain forest
  • Maintenance and Upkeep of Forests
  • Plant Application -trees, shrubs, ground covers
  • A review of how to grow a variety of different plants for Permaculture

When you have completed the lessons of your Certificate course, you will be given the option of taking the optional exam. It's okay if you don't want the exam, we still issue your Careerline Certificate. For Advanced Certificates however, the exam is compulsory (per module) and are included in the course fee.

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    Course Tutor

    Agriculture spans a wide variety of specializations.  Who your tutor is will depend on which area of agriculture you are studying.  Upon enrollment you will be assigned your own personal tutor who is there to support you throughout your studies.

    How It Works

    1. Learn Online

    Get access to your course content anywhere, anytime and study at your own pace.

    2. Get Help & Support

    Connect with other like-minded students and get help from the teacher whenever you have a question.

    3. Receive Certificate

    Graduate from your course knowing that you have what it takes to reach your next step.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can I pay in installments?

    Yes! We offer great payment plans, however full payment up front is the cheapest. You can choose the best payment plan for you from the course page, or call us on 07 55368782 to talk to one of our course consultants for a custom plan.

    Can I study from anywhere in the world?

    We have many international students. Careerline's range of courses are suitable for any one, anywhere in the world.

    Do I get a discount if I enroll in a second course?

    Yes. You may claim a 5% fee discount when you enroll in a second course, and a further 10% off a three-course package.


    Do I have to sit an Exam?

    No. If you are enrolled in a Certificate course (100hrs), the exam is optional. You will be issued with a certificate which proves that you are competent in all units, if you choose not to sit the exam.

    Do you have set start dates?

    There are no set start dates, you may start at any time. Our courses are all self-paced. As our home page says, ‘Courses for Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime’. ‘Anytime’ includes the start time of your choice. However, we do encourage our students to submit assignments on a regular basis. Wherever possible, we suggest developing a study routine.